Appendix H: Student Complaint Process
As indicated in its mission, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) provides students with the highest quality programs, built on a solid academic foundation in the arts and sciences, and prepares them to lead their chosen professions in an increasingly complex, culturally diverse state, national, and global society. Consistent with our mission, TAMIU welcomes opinion and feedback about rules, procedures, programs and services in order to make changes that contribute to student success, development, and goal attainment. TAMIU is committed to ensuring that students have access to appropriate rules and procedures for articulating concerns and registering appeals. In registering concerns and filing appeals, TAMIU students must follow the rules and procedures that have been established within the unit about which the concern is being filed. Generally, procedures require that a student discuss the matter with the staff, faculty, or department in which the issue originated.
A student with a complaint—a concern that a unit's policy or procedure has been incorrectly or unfairly applied in his/her particular case, or a formal charge against a person’s behavior – has recourse through complaint procedures. In most instances, complaints can be resolved through an informal process. Basic steps include:
- discuss the matter with the staff, faculty, or department in which the issue originated;
- if the issue is not resolved, contact the supervisor, department chair, or associate/assistant dean to investigate the issue and allegations.
If the issue is still unresolved after following the appropriate informal complaint procedures, the student may choose to have the issue “officially documented.” An officially documented complaint should be submitted using the Report It form.
The Office of Student Affairs receives the complaint and forwards it to the appropriate department head, Dean, or supervisor. The department for which the complaint is lodged will contact the student within 10 University working days to arrange resolution.
Resolutions should be forwarded to the Office of Student Affairs for record keeping.
To establish official documentation, the complaint or appeal must be submitted in writing and must include the name, contact information of the person filing the complaint, and a brief description of the circumstances, including who has been involved, and current status.
Appeal of charge of academic violation: (such as a charge of plagiarism) must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs in writing within 10 University business days of notice of the charge. Appeal of charge does not include grade penalty appeal, which must follow the grade appeal process.
Grade Appeal Process:
Faculty are authorized to change final grades only when they have committed a computational error, and to do so must receive approval of department chair and Dean. To receive that approval, faculty must attach a detailed explanation of the reason for the mistake. Rarely would another reason be entertained as legitimate for a grade change. A student who is unhappy with his or her grade on an assignment must discuss the situation with the faculty member teaching the course. If students believe that they have been graded unfairly, they may follow the grade appeal process defined in the Student Handbook.
Students who have been placed on Academic Probation and fail to achieve the minimum institutional cumulative grade point average during the next long semester will be placed on Academic Suspension. Students on Academic Suspension must sit out one long semester, and may re-enroll after such absence under Academic Probation. Prior to enrolling, the returning student must meet with an academic advisor to develop an Academic Improvement Plan. The advisor will then meet with the student throughout the semester to monitor the student’s progress in meeting established goals and to determine appropriate subsequent actions.
To appeal the Academic Suspension, the student may submit a petition for academic reinstatement and a student self assessment to the Dean of the College/School in which he/she is pursuing a degree. If the petition is approved, the student may enroll on Academic Probation. Prior to enrolling, the returning student must meet with the Dean to develop an Academic Improvement Plan. The Dean or designate will meet with the student throughout the semester to monitor his/her progress in meeting established goals and determine appropriate subsequent actions.
Complaints alleging violations of the America with Disabilities Act (ADA)
TAMIU intends to offer reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students may contact Student Disability Services for policy and procedures for requesting accommodations or for filing a complaint.
Fraud and Abuse Complaint
Fraud, waste and abuse of resources of any kind by University employees is prohibited. The Texas A&M University System maintains a Risk, Fraud and Misconduct Hotline for reporting fraudulent, wasteful or abusive activities. The Hotline, a telephone and web-based reporting system, provides a way to anonymously report instances of suspected fraud, waste and abuse. The web-based reporting system can be accessed at https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/20500/index.html. A person may also call 1-888-501-3850 to report an issue.
Student Conduct Grievance
Any member of the University community may file a grievance against a student who violates the Student Code of Conduct/Student Rules. Grievances must be filed in writing within 15 University working days of the discovery of the alleged infraction to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement via the Report It! reporting system (http://www.tamiu.edu/reportit). Time lines for the grievance process may be extended for good cause shown or upon the unilateral discretion of the Office of Student Affairs.
Student Financial Aid Appeal
A student not meeting SAP standards due to extenuating circumstances may appeal a financial aid suspension by submitting an Appeal of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress. Examples of extenuating circumstances include a major medical condition or hospitalization of self or immediate family member, death of immediate family member, or victims of violent crimes. Personal or financial issues with family, friends, or roommates are not considered extenuating circumstances.
The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will only evaluate appeals for students who have a complete financial aid folder and are enrolled for the semester of appeal. Students should make payment arrangements with the Bursar’s Office while their appeal is being reviewed to ensure that they are not dropped for non-payment. The student will be notified thru official University student email account when the results of the appeal are available. Federal regulations do not allow the decisions of the Committee to be overturned by another institutional office or official.
Individuals who believe they have or may have been sexually harassed, or who have experienced harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation should file a complaint using the Report It form.
Student Organization Complaints
The Office of Student Orientation, Leadership and Engagement oversees all recognized student organizations on the TAMIU campus. Individuals who wish to file a complaint against a recognized student organization or a member, or officer, of a recognized TAMIU student group should follow the procedure outlined in The Leader: A Guide for Student Organizations.
Other complaints about academic procedures or personnel must be filed with the appropriate College or School.
Concerns or complaints about non-curricular procedures or personnel must be filed with the appropriate unit.
Record Keeping Procedures
Officially documented formal complaints will be kept on record for one year in the Office of Student Affairs. Individual units are responsible for responding to and addressing student concerns and forwarding resolutions to the Office of Student Affairs for record keeping. In most cases a summary of the outcome will suffice.
Approved: Fall 2010
Effective: Spring 2011
Updated: Spring 2014